Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Monday, September 17, 2001

Situation key in reporting
violations of leash law

Question: My neighbors down the street violate the leash law and let their dog run loose all over the neighborhood. Although their dog is friendly and doesn't bother the people or dogs that pass his house, I am concerned about him getting hit by passing cars. If I reported the owners to the police or the Hawaiian Humane Society, what kind of fine or jail sentence would they receive?

Answer: The first time, the owners probably would be issued a warning.

But under the law, an owner slapped with a first leash-law violation would be subject to a $50 fine. For two violations within two years, the fine would be $100, and for three violations within two years, the owner would face a $500 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

You can call either police or the Humane Society to report a loose dog. But consider the situation.

If it's a matter of immediate public safety -- say, a vicious dog -- or the animal is running around on the freeway, then call police, advised HHS spokeswoman Eve Holt.

Otherwise, call the Humane Society (946-2187). But even with the animal agency, calls will be prioritized, depending on the staff available and whether there are other calls for help.

As to citing pet owners, that is often discretionary, Holt said, again depending on the situation. It's one thing if a newspaper boy left a gate open and a dog got out, but if a dog is dangerous or an owner flagrantly disregards the leash law, that's more serious, she said.

In your case, the best bet may be for an inspector to talk to your neighbors about the leash law and the dangers of letting the dog roam, Holt said.

For the 2000-2001 fiscal year, 202 citations for leash-law violations were handed out in Honolulu, compared with 210 the year before and 301 the year before that, Holt said.

Q: Where can I get a list of smoke-free restaurants in Hawaii?

A: Call the state Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Education Program for a free copy of "Hawaii's Guide to Smoke-free Dining." The number is 586-4613.

For lack of resources, the staff has not been able to update the list since the 1999-2000 edition, but it should give you an idea of what's around.

Q: There is a walking bridge across the H-1 freeway at Magellan and Miller streets. Homeless people are living on a ledge there and throwing garbage and beer cans on the freeway. It's dangerous. Can anything be done about this?

A: Police did find people sleeping there and ended up arresting one man on an outstanding traffic warrant and issued citations for illegal "camping," according to Honolulu police Sgt. Grant Moniz. Officers will make periodic checks of the area, he said.

If you see anyone there again, call HPD's District I (Honolulu) station, 529-3190.


To two young men, Paea Vaimoui and Kealoha Kaio Jr., who went out of their way to help two senior citizens whose car had a flat tire on the freeway about 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24. We really appreciate them helping us. -- Nora Inouye

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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